An eight-month-old child receives high nutrition foods at Tawkal 2 Dinsoor camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Baidoa, Somalia on Feb 14, 2022.
UNITED NATIONS - The UN Development Programme has called for action to mitigate the impacts of the Ukraine conflict on Africa.
In addition, the conflict in Ukraine has led to a 21 percent increase in the price of fertilizers, affecting African populations who remain mainly reliant on agriculture
In a report released on Tuesday, the UNDP warns that the Ukraine conflict could further stall Africa's development trajectory, which is already significantly jeopardized by COVID-19.
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The direct impacts on Africa include trade disruption, food and fuel price spikes, macroeconomic instability, and security challenges, says the report.
African countries are particularly affected due to their heavy reliance on imports from Russia and Ukraine. In 2020, African countries imported agricultural products worth 4 $billion from Russia, 90 percent of which was wheat.
In addition, the conflict in Ukraine has led to a 21 percent increase in the price of fertilizers, affecting African populations who remain mainly reliant on agriculture. Shortages and interruptions in food and fertilizers supply chains will increase hunger in Africa. The impacts of fertilizer shortages will affect this year's planting season and will be felt throughout next year, according to the report.
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There are also indirect impacts of the crisis to consider, which include imported inflation, difficult energy transitions, and a potential geopolitical realignment, says the report.
The UNDP report proposes three main areas of action that could mitigate the impacts: immediate efforts to expand the fiscal space in African countries and stabilize African economies via enhanced development assistance, innovative multilateral initiatives, and support for programs that enhance domestic resource mobilization; strengthening Africa's resilience to global shocks via reducing dependency, accelerating a just energy transition, de-risking critical investments in technology and infrastructure, and promoting innovative approaches to entrepreneurship; fostering structural economic transformation in Africa by harnessing digital technologies, and intensifying support to regional integration and economic diversification.
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"Now is a critical time for action. It is time to intensify efforts and reframe development finance, strengthen resilience in African economies, and foster economic transformation as a key driver for change in Africa," said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in a press release for the launch of the report.
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